What Makes a Good Fashion Photographer?

Fashion photography is the gold standard of the photography world. If you want to be a commercial photographer, you almost certainly have at least considered fashion photography. So what makes a good fashion photographer?

It starts with a passion for photography. You need to eat, sleep and live photography. Trying to make it in the fashion photography world is a tough road. There’s a lot of competition and no one has any interest in helping you break in until you make a name for yourself. If you don’t truly love photography and good fashion, it will be tough to make it.

How Can I Be a Good Fashion Photographer?        

There’s no easy answer to this question. For many, knowing how to shoot fashion photography is just instinct. Sometimes a good fashion photographer is born, not made. But you can learn to shoot great fashion shots.

It starts with fashion photography lighting. Learn the best lighting techniques to truly highlight your models and whatever it is they’re modeling. You can get advice on this from current pros — and find plenty of inspiration by looking at fashion photography examples. But a lot about great lighting comes down to trial and error.

You also want to be creative with posing ideas. It may seem like everyone has seen everything when it comes to fashion photography poses, but that’s your challenge — to find a way to frame an old pose in a new way, or to juxtapose your model or models and the product in such a way as to create an entirely unique pose.

Finding unique locations is also a good behind-the-scenes fashion photography tip. Even though your focus is on the models and the product, an eye-catching and distinctive background that enhances rather than detracts from your subject can be important in making your work stand out. 

Another way to stand out from the pack is to get to know the models you’re working with. In addition to this being a good way to get your name out there in case your models go on to their own fashion fame, it’s a good way to get an idea of how best to portray the particular model you’re shooting.

Finally, while you probably want to create your own fashion photography art, it’s important to remember that the client’s vision comes first. Make sure you understand what you want so you can articulate it for them. Once you become a name in the fashion photography world, you can start to dictate the vision a little more.

How Do I Keep Up My Momentum? 

Once you get started, how do you keep moving forward so you can get noticed and really break into the industry? Make sure you continuously update your blog and online portfolio so people can see you’re still coming up with fresh ideas.

Also, network with other photographers. The fashion industry is about connections, and you can’t make connections if you don’t network.

Finally, keep working! Get whatever jobs you can and do them in a way that forces people to notice you. Keep doing that until you break through. Good luck!